School mask mandate extended through February
Students in Dartmouth will need to continue masking up until at least the end of February, the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced Monday.
The decision comes as cases of Covid-19 surge in communities across Massachusetts.
Under the mandate, which had previously been set to expire on Jan. 15, students ages 5 and older are required to wear masks except when eating, drinking or during mask breaks while inside school buildings.
The department noted that school officials will continue to be able to lift the mask requirement if they can demonstrate that at least 80% of all students and staff in a school building are vaccinated.
Unvaccinated students and staff would still be required to continue wearing masks.
According to state data as of Jan. 6, 23% of Dartmouth kids ages 5 to 11 have gotten at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Sixty-two percent of kids 12 to 15 and 34% of those 16 to 19 are also partially vaccinated.
If cases continue to remain high by Feb. 28, the department will again extend the mandate.